The Fisheries and Seafood Scheme (FaSS) has relaunched last week, in a bid to “support the long-term sustainability, resilience, and prosperity of the seafood sector across England”.
Following the initial success of the scheme, which first opened last year, at least £6 million in funding has been secured every year until April 2025, providing long term investment to the sector.
The scheme will continue to fund projects that boost business resilience and increase sustainability across the catching, processing and aquaculture sectors.
This builds on the work of the first year of the scheme, which saw more than 500 projects approved for a range of seafood and marine businesses, charities and other organisations.
Improvements this year include simplified guidance, enhanced levels of funding for micro-entities and funding that is better targeted at the sector’s needs.
Regular reviews will ensure FaSS continues to evolve over the next three years to reflect feedback from across the sector, evolving policies and the needs of the industry.
The scheme will continue to be administered by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) on behalf of Defra. The MMO has a team ready to provide advice and support to potential applicants.
Fisheries Minister Victoria Prentis said: “The Fisheries and Seafood Scheme has already approved 500 projects for funding across our sector. Through the scheme, we are better able to target support and invest in projects that champion the seafood sector and support its long-term sustainability.”
“We have expanded the scheme until 2025, providing a welcome boost for coastal communities around the country. I urge all eligible organisations to apply.”
Defra and the MMO will continue to work with industry to provide financial assistance through the FaSS to deliver sustainable growth in the catching, processing and aquaculture sectors, boosting coastal businesses and communities. In addition, FaSS will also deliver some funding through more flexible calls for projects, based on specific policies.
For projects which last less than a year, the MMO recommends that applicants aim to complete their project within the same financial year as application. To ensure long-term support is delivered to the sector, the FaSS will now also support multi-annual projects which can be completed up until the end of February 2025.